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Google Doodle honors legendary surfer Eddie Aikau savior of hundreds of lives

first_img Share your voice Online Sports Tags Google honors legendary big-wave surfer and lifeguard Eddie Aikau. Google Eddie Aikau was an iconic Hawaiian surfer as famous for his prowess on big waves as he was as a lifeguard who saved hundreds of lives from the dangerous surf of Oahu’s north shore.But it’s for his final rescue attempt that he’s beloved in the Hawaiian community. To honor the legendary surfer and lifeguard, Google dedicated an animated Doodle to Aikau on what would have been his 73rd birthday. For almost as long as Google has been around, it’s livened up its barebones search page with artwork that draws attention to notable people, events, holidays and anniversaries. Google Doodles have celebrated, among many other things, Pac-Man’s anniversary, Copernicus’ birthday, Mother’s Day and the World Cup, as well as reminding us of lesser-known real-world heroes. Aikau was one of those real-world heroes.Born in Maui on May 4, 1946, Aikau was a descendant of the high priest to King Kamehameha I. After his family moved to Oahu, he dropped out of school at the age of 16 to take a job at the Dole pineapple cannery; his paycheck allowed him to buy his first surfboard.In 1967, Aikau was hired as the first lifeguard at Waimea Bay on Oahu’s north shore, where waves frequently reach 30 feet or higher. He’s credited with saving more than 500 people during his brief career, never losing a soul on his watch.Aikau also made his mark as a big-wave surfer, riding every major swell to hit the north shore between 1967 and 1978. “Eddie was a pretty quiet guy, but when there was a challenge, or some risk to be taken, or a game to be played that everybody wanted to win, Eddie seemed to rise to the top,” his younger brother Clyde said in a profile published by surfboard maker Quiksilver. “He was high risk at an early age.” In pro surfing, Aikau reached a rank of 12th best in the world and won several surfing awards, including the 1977 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship.In 1978, he was chosen to join the crew of a cultural expedition between Hawaii and Tahiti on the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokulea. During the 30-day, 2,500-mile voyage, the double-hulled canoe developed a leak and capsized about 12 miles south of the island of Molokai.In an effort to get help for the crew, Aikua paddled off on his surfboard toward the island of Lanai. The crew was eventually rescued by the US Coast Guard, but Aikau was never seen again.In 1985, a big-wave surfing tournament called Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau, aka The Eddie, was established at Waimea Bay to honor Aikau’s legacy. Before the competition can be held, the tournament’s rules require open-ocean swells must be at least 20 feet high, which generally generates wave faces in the bay of about 30 feet. As a result, the tournament has been held only nine times, most recently in 2016. Comments 2 Google Doodlelast_img read more

Hyundai Introduces New Verna GL Variant in India Price Feature Details

first_imgHyundai introduced a new GL variant for its Fluidic Verna sedan in India with a price tag starting at  7.17 lakh.The new GL variant comes in both petrol and diesel engine options. While the GL petrol is priced at 7.17 lakh, the diesel variant comes at a price tag of  8.35 lakh.The petrol GL variant is powered by a 1.4-litre VTVT engine, which can churn out a power of 105bhp and peak torque of 138Nm and the diesel model comes with 1.4-litre CRDI motor.The diesel engine of the car is expected to generate 89bhp of power and 224Nm of torque. The new Verna GL variant come with features like keyless entry, 2-Din Audio system, electrically adjustable outside rear view mirror, electric power-steering with tilt function and manual air conditioner among others. However, the GL variant missed out the safety features like ABS.Beside the introduction of the new GL variant in the sedan line up, the South Korean auto major Hyundai discontinued six variants of the Verna – 3 petrol and 3 diesels. The automatic variants of the Verna SX (O) and EX which are powered by the 1.6-litre VTVT engine have been discontinued in the domestic market along with the 1.6 CRDI Automatic and the 1.4-litre CRDI EX variant. The Verna’s base petrol and diesel variant have been replaced with the new GL variant.Hyundai Verna, a sedan which has been earning good sales record in the domestic market since its launch, witnessed a fall recently after the grand debut of Honda City. Now with the introduction of the new Verna variant, Hyundai hopes to regain its top position in the Indian auto market.In February, Hyundai Motor India Ltd witnessed a plunge in sales. The company had reported a 14.9 percent decline in total sales in February at 46,505 units compared with 54,665 in the same month last year.last_img read more

Sun Pharma Shares Dive on Profit Decline Analysts Mixed over Outlook

first_imgShares of India’s biggest drug-maker Sun Pharma plunged on Monday after the company reported a sharp decline in profit for the quarter ended in March, but analysts have mixed opinion over the outlook.Share prices of Sun Pharma touched a three-month low of ₹869.50 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), before recovering to ₹880.50, down nearly 9%.Stock prices of Sun Pharma had gained 18% so far this year before Monday’s fall.The Mumbai-based multinational pharmaceutical company has witnessed a fall in profit by 44% to ₹888 crore during January-March quarter against ₹1,587 crore in the same quarter last year.”Our performance has been impacted due to various one-time charges, mainly on account of the Ranbaxy merger as well as due to price erosion for some of our products in the US. It also reflects the impact of supply constraints related to the ongoing re-mediation efforts at some of our facilities,” Dilip Shanghvi, managing director, Sun Pharma, told Mint.However, many brokerages remain mixed over the outlook for stock prices of Sun Pharma despite a slump in profit.”With strong execution, free cash flow and a niche pipeline, Sun Pharma should sustain the upper-end of its historical premium valuation,” Macquarie told moneycontrol.com. “Ranbaxy integration provides an additional lever for growth, over the medium-term.”Macquarie has a price target of ₹1,100 for Sun Pharma shares with the outlook as “outperform.”Credit Suisse also has an outperform rating for the stock, but cut its estimate of FY16 earnings per share (EPS) by 8%.”Sun did not provide sales growth guidance for FY16 after missing guidance for FY15. In our view, this is likely to be driven by uncertainty at Halol and also the first year of Ranbaxy integration. Halol resolution is the key event for the stock,” said Credit Suisse.In contrast, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofA-ML) has maintained a neutral rating on the stock but slashed the target price to to ₹1,063 from ₹1,100.CLSA also maintains a price target of ₹1,130 for Sun Pharma stock price, The Economic Times reported.Encouraged by the takeover of its competitor Ranbaxy Laboratories, Sun Pharma seems ready to spend around $7 billion more on such acquisitions, said a Reuters report in April.Sun Pharma is now eyeing acquisitions in the US and Europe, with a focus on companies that manufacture bio-similars, the low-cost products similar to biotech drugs, which are seeing a fast pick-up in sales, Reuters reported.Sun Pharma’s cash position remains strong to finance any large scale deals. The company is sitting on a cash pile of $1.5 billion and debt-to-equity ratio stands at 0.13.last_img read more

AL factional clash leaves 10 bullethit

first_imgAt least 10 people including a child sustained bullet injuries in a clash between the local leaders and activists of ruling Awami League and its associate body, Juba League, over establishing supremacy in Khalifarhat area of Noakhali sadar upazila on Tuesday, reports UNB.The bullet wounded Solaiman, 28, Sumon, 23, Jasim, 45, Ohid Ulla, 35, Sabuj, 23, Masud, 35, Monir Ahmed, 55, Sabuj, 23, Jaker, 30, and Shanto, 12, were admitted to the sadar hospital.Witnesses said supporters of sadar upazila AL leader Shipon and Juba League leader Zahir locked into a clash over previous enmity at Khalifarhat bazar.At one stage, the supporters of Shipon carried out an attack on Zahir’s house with firearms and sharp weapons, triggering the clash followed by chase and counter chase.Sudharam Model police station officer-in-charge Md Anowar Hossain said they on information they rushed to the spot and controlled the situation.last_img read more

Trump Jr Says In Retrospect He Would Have Handled Russia Meeting Differently

first_img Share Richard Drew/APDonald Trump Jr. appears on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program on Tuesday to discuss his meeting with a Russian lawyer in 2016 after promises of getting damaging information about Hillary Clinton.Updated at 11:35 p.m. ETDonald Trump Jr. acknowledged in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday that “in retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently” when meeting last year with a Kremlin-linked attorney in hopes of gaining damaging information on Hillary Clinton.In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, President Trump’s eldest son explained that he met with attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya at the urging of publicist Rob Goldstone because he “wanted to hear it out” to see what type of details they had.“I had been reading about scandals that people were probably underreporting for a long time, so maybe it was something that had to do with one of those things,” Trump Jr. said.Goldstone described the information “that would incriminate” Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” He also described the woman Trump Jr. would later meet as a “Russian government attorney.” Asked whether any “sirens” went off for him, Trump Jr. said, “Honestly, I don’t know.” He added it was “pre-Russia fever” and “pre-Russia mania.”“So I don’t even think my sirens went up, or the antennas went up at this time, because it wasn’t the issue that it’s been made out to be over the last nine months, 10 months, since it really became a thing,” Trump Jr. said.He also characterized the meeting as a “courtesy” to Goldstone, a business acquaintance.“I didn’t know if there was any credibility, I didn’t know if there was anything behind it, I can’t vouch for the information. Someone sent me an email. I can’t help what someone sends me. I read it, I responded accordingly,” Trump Jr. told Hannity.The president’s son posted an email exchange about setting up the June 2016 meeting on Tuesday morning just before The New York Times, which initially broke the story of the meeting over the weekend, was about to publish the emails.Trump Jr. reiterated that he was willing to cooperate with congressional committees that are investigating Russia and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, and he told Hannity that would include testifying under oath.“I just want the truth to get out there,” Trump Jr. said. “And that’s part of why I released all the stuff today, I wanted to get it all out there.”Ultimately, the meeting — which was also attended by Trump’s then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who now serves as a White House senior adviser — was a bust, Trump Jr. said. He added that Kushner left the meeting after about five minutes and Manafort spent most of the meeting on his phone.“I wouldn’t have even remembered it until you started scouring through this stuff,” the president’s son said. “It was literally just a wasted 20 minutes, which was a shame.”Trump Jr. also said he never told his father about the meeting, because “there was nothing to tell.”As to whether he has ever held additional meetings with Russians, Trump Jr. said, “I don’t even know, I’ve probably met with other people from Russia … not in the context of actual, a formalized meeting or anything like that, because why would I?”In one of the June 2016 emails to Trump Jr., Goldstone said, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”Trump Jr. wrote back, “if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”Aside from the emails and meeting, Hannity focused much of his program on bashing the mainstream media, inviting Trump Jr. to do so as well.“They’re trying drag out the story, in all fairness,” the Trump son said. “They have it, they want to drip a little bit today, drip a little bit then; it’s like, here it is. I’m more than happy to be transparent about it, and I’m more than happy to cooperate with everyone.”As NPR’s Peter Overby and Marilyn Geewax note, the situation has put Trump Jr. in legal hot water because there is a federal law that says “foreign nationals cannot ‘directly or indirectly’ give a ‘thing of value’ to American political campaigns. Moreover, the law says no one is allowed to ‘solicit, accept, or receive’ any thing of value from a foreign national to help a candidate.”The White House stood behind Trump Jr. on Tuesday as the controversy was unfolding, with White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders reading a statement from the president saying, “My son is a high-quality person and I applaud his transparency.” Ahead of the Hannity segment airing, Trump promoted the interview on his personal Twitter account, calling his son “a great person who loves our country!”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Physicists Explain How Human Eyes Can Detect Quantum Effects

first_img Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — By greatly amplifying one photon from an entangled photon pair, physicists have theoretically shown that human eyes can be used as detectors to observe quantum effects. Usually, detecting quantum phenomena requires sensitive photon detectors or similar technology, keeping the quantum world far removed from our everyday experience. By showing that it’s possible to perform quantum optics experiments with human eyes as detectors, the physicists can bring quantum phenomena closer to the macroscopic level and to everyday life. The group of physicists is from the University of Geneva, and includes Pavel Sekatski, Nicolas Brunner (also from the University of Bristol), Cyril Branciard, Nicolas Gisin, and Christoph Simon. In their study published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters, the scientists theoretically show how human eyes can be used to detect a large Bell inequality violation, which proves the existence of quantum entanglement.As the physicists explain, the key to achieving human-eye detection of quantum effects is to use the process of quantum cloning by stimulated emission. Recently, using quantum cloning, researchers in Rome have experimentally created tens of thousands of clones starting from a single-photon. Then, by amplifying one photon of an entangled pair, the researchers managed to demonstrate entanglement. In order to do this, specific detectors are required, which can distinguish two orthogonal amplified states with a high success rate. Now, what Sekatski and co-workers have shown is that the human eye performs extremely well at the task of distinguishing between orthogonal amplified states. This is a consequence of the eye’s main characteristic, namely as a detection threshold. Below a certain threshold number of incoming photons, the eye remains blind (no light is seen), whereas above the threshold the efficiency (i.e. the probability of seeing) is close to one. In their calculations, the authors also considered the influence of experimental imperfections, such as photon losses, which are inevitable in a real experiment. They found that the setup is surprisingly robust. A strong Bell violation can be obtained even in case of high losses, demonstrating the presence of entanglement. This is a very astonishing feature since entanglement is generally an extremely fragile property, highly sensitive to experimental imperfections such as losses. To solve this apparent paradox, the scientists uncovered a loophole in the system. They showed that a specific multi-photon state could actually behave exactly as the entangled state. Therefore, the high Bell violation actually witnesses the entanglement of the original photon pair, i.e. before the amplification occurs, but not the entanglement between the amplified state and the single photon. Still, the authors show that the amplified state and the single photon are nevertheless entangled, but revealing this entanglement would require more sophisticated measurements. This subtle issue provides a much better understanding of the quantum nature of amplified states, which were recently the subject of a controversy among the scientific community.As the researchers finally note, using human eyes as detectors in actual quantum experiments will face significant technical challenges. However, the possibility of observing quantum effects directly with our own eyes is fascinating. Naked eye observation would bring the observer one step closer to the quantum world.“From our theoretical study, the experimental perspectives appear very promising,” Brunner told PhysOrg.com. He added that, although there will be many technical challenges, Nicolas Gisin’s research group in Geneva has already started working on experiments.More information: Pavel Sekatski, Nicolas Brunner, Cyril Branciard, Nicolas Gisin, and Christoph Simon. “Towards Quantum Experiments with Human Eyes as Detectors Based on Cloning via Stimulated Emission.” Physical Review Letters 103, 113601 (2009).Copyright 2009 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. How human eyes could detect quantum entanglement: A single-photon qubit is amplified through cloning via stimulated emission in a nonlinear crystal (red box). The clones are split into two orthogonal polarization modes, with the polarization basis varied with the help of a wave plate (green box). Each mode is then detected by a naked human eye. Image credit: Pavel Sekatski, et al. Entanglement Swapping: A New Quantum Trick Citation: Physicists Explain How Human Eyes Can Detect Quantum Effects (2009, September 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-09-physicists-human-eyes-quantum-effects.htmllast_img read more

Woman found dead kin allege torture by inlaws

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a woman whose body was found hanging from the ceiling inside her in-laws house at Jabantala in South 24-Parganas’s on Sunday.Police said the victim, Jayanti Haldar, (19), a resident of Champahati in Baruipur got married to Mrityunjoy Haldar nearly seven months ago. Local residents spotted the victim and informed the matter at the local police station. The police later recovered the body and sent it for the post mortem examination. The victim’s husband is absconding. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe family members of the victim alleged that Jayanti had been subjected to mental and physical torture by her in-laws since she got married. It was alleged that the victim’s husband used to make dowry demands. It is also alleged that Haldar’s family members were called up by her in-laws in the morning to inform them about the suicide. After being informed, Haldar’s family members rushed to the spot but the accused and his family members had fled from the spot before they reached. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe family members of the victim told the police that the accused came to know that the deceased had received some money under the ‘Kanyashree’ scheme by the state government. He asked her to hand over the money to him. When she refused to do so the victim was tortured time and again, said of the family members. The police have started a detailed probe into the incident. They have collected some evidences from the victim’s room for investigation. The police are yet to confirm the cause of her death. They are investigating if the woman committed suicide or there had been any foul play. The police are waiting for the post-mortem report. Raids are being conducted to nab the victim’s husband.last_img read more

A Device to Help You Sleep Better Raises Almost 500K in Two

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. A kid who didn’t go to college wants to change the way we all sleep. And, judging by the explosive success of his Kickstarter campaign, a lot of people want to sleep better.Former Thiel Fellow James Proud announced his latest innovation on Kickstarter yesterday. It’s a system that tracks your sleep and the conditions of your bedroom to help you sleep more soundly. Since hitting uber popular crowdfunding site yesterday, the sleep device, called Sense, has raised approximately $470,000, already more than four times the $100,000 goal.A pledge of $99 gets a campaign backer the Sense sleep system, a $30 savings off the pre-order price. Image credit: HelloRelated: 3 Alarm Clock AlternativesDevelopments in wearable tech have made it de rigueur to track every every part of your physical day. Sleep is a particularly hot segment of the trend. Several sleep-tracking systems appeared at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas this year, including Aura and Basis Band.This is not Proud’s first company since graduating from the esteemed Thiel Fellows program. He sold his live music sharing platform GigLocator and his San Francisco-based company that has developed and prototyped the Sense is called Hello.   Proud’s use of Kickstarter to launch and promote his newest product is also a definitive comment on the evolving purpose of crowdfunding. Kickstarter is as much about raising cash as it is about prototyping these days. In January, Hello raised $10.5 million from the undisclosed investors, according to Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure documents.Related: 12 Things Successful People Do Before BreakfastWhile the $470,000 (and counting) that Proud has raised on Kickstarter is impressive, it’s also small change compared to $10.5 million. What’s invaluable, though, is the market feedback: the Kickstarter campaign tells Proud that his product is going to hit a hot market when it launches. That’s priceless information. Image credit: HelloRelated: How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?“Let’s talk about something that every single one of us does, but most of us don’t do as well as we should: sleep,” says Proud in a video on his Kickstarter page. “We spend a third of our lives doing it, our days depend on it, but we still neglect it.”The Sense system has three components: A globe-shaped structure that sits on your bed side table, a small pin that clips to your pillow, and, of course, an app that runs on your smartphone. The system monitors temperature in your bedroom, sound, your movement and when you are in your deepest sleep rhythms. The “smart alarm” will only wake you up when you are in an ideal place in your sleep rhythms to be woken up. (Check out the video embedded below to see the device in action.)“While you sleep at night, you have no idea what is happening. Nobody is even thinking about the most important room of our lives and how it impacts us: the bedroom,” says Proud. July 24, 2014 Enroll Now for Free 3 min readlast_img read more

Federal Government Hopes to Get a Grasp on the Sharing Economy

first_img Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Uncle Sam is trying to keep up with Silicon Valley.Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez says that this week he traveled to the startup hub to talk with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and industry leaders about the evolving workforce.“Thanks in large measure to innovation in recent decades there, the American workforce — and the very nature of work — is experiencing some profound changes,” Perez wrote in a recent blog post. “It’s not just the growth of new technologies, but also the rise of entirely new industries and new job structures.”  The expansion of the gig, or freelance economy, has been largely fueled by the expansion of the sharing economy, which includes companies such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Postmates and Taskrabbit. Instead of holding one full-time job with a single company, individuals are increasingly creating their own web of multiple part-time, flexible jobs.The trouble for the government, though, is that this tech-enabled evolution in the job market is particularly hard to track.Related: The Sharing Economy Is More than a Buzzword. It’s Changing How We Live.“This is an exciting, entrepreneurial development that is tapping into powerful consumer demand while giving workers flexibility and enabling them to monetize existing assets, like their cars or extra rooms in their homes,” Perez says. “At the same time, the on-demand economy raises important questions about how to continue upholding time-honored labor standards and how to promote economic security for American workers in a changing labor market.”To generate national-level data on this rising gig economy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will partner with the Census Bureau to bring back the Contingent Worker Supplement, which tracks independent contractors, temporary employees and workers holding multiple jobs at the same time. The Contingent Worker Supplement will be part of the next population survey, expected in May 2017.The government is not alone in its struggle to keep pace with the recent rapid evolution of the job market. Uber has been involved in legal battles over whether drivers on the platform should be considered employees or contractors.To be sure, we are only just starting to understand the far-reaching implications of the recent reinvention of the workforce.Related: What a Sharing Economy Startup Does to Build Trust in Its Community Listen Nowcenter_img 2 min read January 29, 2016last_img read more

Ericsson has launched its MediaFirst Video Deliver

first_imgEricsson has launched its MediaFirst Video Delivery solution – the latest addition to the Ericsson MediaFirst portfolio.Ericsson said the solution is a response to the “increased volumes of video traffic over operator networks”, with the release following the launch of Ericsson MediaFirst Video Processing at NAB earlier this year.The modular video distribution platform is designed to let service providers and broadcasters enhance the distribution of managed video services to mobile devices.The solution uses modern content delivery network (CDN) technology to deliver adaptive live TV, video on demand, cloud DVR and time shifted content.Ericsson said it enables IPTV, cable and mobile operators to “handle managed and unmanaged content by enhancing their network efficiencies and reducing associated costs.”“With ever increasing volumes of video traffic being consumed, operators require complete content visibility and control throughout the entire delivery chain in order to differentiate their multiscreen OTT services,” said Ericsson’s head of media delivery, Carlos Gonzalez.“Mobile video traffic is forecast to grow by around 55% annually through to 2021, when it should account for over two-thirds of all mobile data traffic. This underlines the need for next-generation cloud based solutions to deliver a superior performance.”Ericsson launched the MediaFirst Video Delivery solution at the Broadcast Asia 2016 event in Singapore.last_img read more

UltraViolet the initiative that gives users digit

first_imgUltraViolet, the initiative that gives users digital access to movies and TV series they’ve purchased, is due to shut down on July 31.According to information posted on the UltraViolet website, the move is due to “market factors” – including the emergence of  content services separate to UltraViolet.“In most cases, your movies and TV shows will be available via the retailers linked to your UltraViolet Library at the time of UltraViolet shutdown,” said UltraViolet.“While there could be some disruption, we do not anticipate this on a broad scale and are working diligently to minimise and avoid such instances.”UltraViolet said it is working with UltraViolet retailers – which include services like Vudu, Flixster and Kaleidescape – to maximise users’ continued access to movies and TV shows.However, users’ UltraViolet Libraries will be automatically closed after UltraViolet shuts down.A consortium of film studios, consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) launched UltraViolet in the US and UK in 2011.UltraViolet users can redeem codes bundled with physical Blu-ray and DVD purchases to access the content digitally. The scheme was also designed to unify customers’ digital purchases in a single location.The scheme was supported by the likes of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros, Lionsgate and NBCUniversal, but never gained the backing of Disney, which went its own way with its Disney Movies Anywhere service.Amazon, Google and Apple were also key players that did not join DECE or support UltraViolet.last_img read more

The next time you swat a fruit fly in your kitchen

first_imgThe next time you swat a fruit fly in your kitchen, take heart from the fact that people have apparently been struggling with these fly infestations for around 10,000 years.A study published Thursday suggests Drosophila melanogaster first shacked up with humans when the insects flew into the elaborately painted caves of ancient people living in southern Africa.That’s according to a report published Thursday in the journal Current Biology.Scientists say the flies would have been following the alluring smell of stored marula fruit, which were collected and stored by cave-dwelling people in Africa. This tasty yellow fruit was a staple in the region in those days — and was also the fruit that wild flies apparently evolved to depend on in nearby forests.The humble fruit fly now lives with humans all over the planet and is one of the world’s most studied creatures. For more than a century, biology and medical laboratories have depended on this fly — one scientist notes that at least nine times, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded for research on Drosophila. One of those prizes was won by Thomas Hunt Morgan of Columbia University, whose fly research in the early 1900s plucked this species from obscurity and transformed it into a mainstay of genetics.”It’s small; it’s cheap to raise; it has interesting genetics,” explains Thomas Kaufman, a biologist at Indiana University in Bloomington. “We think that flies are quite charismatic. They’re wonderful. They’re beautiful little animals, and we love them. Seriously.”But despite all that love and study, the origins of this fly, and how it first moved in with people, have been a mystery.”I’ve been wondering about this for the past 20 years,” says Marcus Stensmyr, a biologist at Lund University in Sweden who uses these flies to study the olfactory system. “It’s really been kind of a life-long ambition, if you wish, to find where they come from.”Scientists have known for decades that, like people, the flies seem to have started out in Africa — somewhere.”You find them in your kitchen. You find them in my kitchen — you find them in everyone’s kitchen,” says Stensmyr. “But if you go out into the forest, you simply don’t find them.”Recently, researchers collected flies from around Africa and looked at their genes. They found that the greatest genetic diversity was found in flies from Zambia and Zimbabwe, suggesting that this species got its start in the southern-central region of the continent.But trips to that region failed to turn up much of anything.”After a number of failed excursions down to Africa,” says Stensmyr, “we thought, ‘OK, so maybe they are associated with some specific fruit in their original home.’ “Stensmyr and his colleagues studied a long list of possible fruits, looking for all the features that D. melanogaster is known to prefer. The flies favor citrus fruits — like oranges, for example.”We came to a candidate fruit — that was marula fruit,” says Stensmyr. The yellow fruit is about the size of a large plum, with a hard stone in the middle. “It has a sweet and nice taste.”The researchers traveled to the woodlands of the Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe. They found fruiting marula trees and put out traps. Bingo — they caught D. melanogaster.”We found tons of flies,” Stensmyr recalls.Further study showed that wild D. melanogaster strongly prefer marula fruit over oranges.What’s more, so does a breed of fly that’s commonly used in labs. This strain was established in 1916 from a fly population in Canton, Ohio.”They actually have retained the preference for marula,” says Stensmyr. “They would go for the marula as well.”The researchers isolated one particular chemical in this fruit — ethyl isovalerate — that seemed particularly important. Flies that were given a choice between marula and oranges spiked with this chemical failed to pick one over the other, suggesting that the two choices seemed the same to the flies.All of this provides an intriguing clue for how these insects may have started to make their home with people. Near where the researchers found the wild flies, there are caves where the San tribes once lived. These people left behind beautiful cave paintings — as well as the pits of marula fruit that they had eaten. From one cave alone, excavators turned up 24 million marula stones.”They really, really loved marula,” says Stensmyr, who points out that the stones found date from about 12,000 years ago to about 8,000 years ago. “During the times when these caves were inhabited, the San people must have brought enormous quantities of marula into the caves.”That means marula was likely stored there, and available there long after the marula in the forest had been eaten up by wildlife. The strong smell of all this marula would have attracted the flies.To test whether or not wild flies would actually enter a cave, the research team put traps baited with fermenting marula along the far wall of the Nswatugi cave. Sure enough, over a period of a few days, these traps caught a number of D. melanogaster flies.The study, and the story it tells, has completely delighted other scientists who study fruit flies.”I particularly liked going and catching the flies in the painted caves,” says Kaufman. “That was inspired. It’s really a neat paper.””I thought it was fantastic,” agrees Celeste Berg, a developmental geneticist at the University of Washington, Seattle who has used flies in her research for 30 years. “I thought their data was really quite striking.”Berg says she wonders exactly how the flies would have spread from these caves to the rest of the world.”I think it’s exciting to learn the origins of fruit flies and, even if you’re not an ecologist or a population geneticist, I think it’s just natural to be interested in the history of the organism you study,” says Berg. “I had assumed that fruit flies liked all kinds of fruit — especially bananas. I didn’t even realize that they preferred citrus. And it’s not even really citrus that they prefer; they prefer this particular marula plant, which I also had never heard of.”Debbie Andrew, a developmental biologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who has worked with fruit flies for four decades, also says she loved the paper.”They built a good story,” says Andrew. “It’s very hard to prove something that happened 10,000 years ago or more. I like the story.”As to whether all the details are right, she says, “I don’t know; it does seem plausible, based on the amount of marula fruit stones they found in the cave.”Based on this paper, says Andrew, the old saying, “time flies like an arrow, and fruit flies like a banana,” should really be changed.”Time flies like an arrow,” she says, “and fruit flies like an orange, or a marula fruit, or perhaps an orange spiked with ethyl isovalerate.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Two groups have been chosen to set up new centres

first_imgTwo groups have been chosen to set up new centres for independent living (CIL) in Wales, doubling the number of CILs in the country.The new centres will be located in Ceredigion, in the west of the country, and Flintshire, in the north, and will both be run and controlled by disabled people.Although there are only two existing CILs in Wales, the long-term aim is to have one in every one of its 22 counties.The two new CILs were selected by Disability Wales, the Wales Co-operative Centre (WCC), and Dewis Centre for Independent Living, as part of the £318,000 Welsh government-funded Enabling Wales programme.Disability Wales said it hoped they would provide “a kick start to developing more CILs across Wales”.The two groups will now receive support from Disability Wales, WCC and Dewis CIL as they work towards opening their doors to disabled people next March.That support will include help with the bids they will need to make to local authorities, the Welsh government and other sources of funding to allow them to meet their running costs.Disability Wales said the two groups would need to “strike a balance between their traditional campaigning role… with the need to operate successfully within a highly competitive commercial environment, and to manage the potential conflicts of interest when delivering public contracts”.The Ceredigion CIL will focus on providing information and advice – including disability equality training; self-advocacy; offering support to victims of hate crime; campaigning; and fundraising – and will be run by the disabled people’s organisation Disabled People Together, as well as the non-user-led groups Mencap Ceredigion and Creative Lifestyle Solutions.Rhiannon Hicks, Enabling Wales project officer at Disability Wales, said: “The Ceredigion group were successful as they showed a strong understanding of organisations led by disabled people for disabled people.“They also have a strong commitment to the social model of disability, as well as good partnerships with relevant third sector bodies.”The Flintshire CIL will be run by the user-led Flintshire Disability Forum (FDF), and will provide services such as help with managing personal budgets; campaigning; recruitment and training of personal assistants; assistance completing application forms; and equipment hire.Hicks said: “The FDF were successful as they have a strong track record of project delivery, and of securing funding. They also have strong partnerships.”She added: “I very much look forward to working with both groups in the next stage of the project.”Rhian Davies (pictured), director of Disability Wales, said: “We are delighted that following an 18-month long programme of training, development and coaching, working with 65 disabled people across Wales, we have achieved our goal in being able to select two emerging CILs and support their development over the remainder of the Enabling Wales project.“CILs are social enterprises that deliver services run by disabled people for disabled people and offer a new and creative model of provision in line with what people actually need to achieve independent living and well-being as well as maximise scarce resources.”Disability Wales said it hoped the new organisations would in time be able to support other groups towards becoming CILs, while it would itself be providing a “tool kit” on how to set up a CIL.Carl Sargeant, the Welsh government’s cabinet secretary for communities and children, congratulated the two groups, and said: “I am sure that, with the support of the Wales Cooperative Centre and Dewis CIL, they will develop and grow into sustainable enterprises which will promote independent living for disabled people and provide them with the services they need to support their well-being.”Picture by Natasha Hirstlast_img read more

FDA approves new drug to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder in premenopausal

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 23 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Vyleesi (bremelanotide) to treat acquired, generalized hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women. There are women who, for no known reason, have reduced sexual desire that causes marked distress, and who can benefit from safe and effective pharmacologic treatment. Today’s approval provides women with another treatment option for this condition. As part of the FDA’s commitment to protect and advance the health of women, we’ll continue to support the development of safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction.”Hylton V. Joffe, M.D., M.M.Sc., director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s Division of Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Products HSDD is characterized by low sexual desire that causes marked distress or interpersonal difficulty and is not due to a co-existing medical or psychiatric condition, problems within the relationship or the effects of a medication or other drug substance. Acquired HSDD develops in a patient who previously experienced no problems with sexual desire. Generalized HSDD refers to HSDD that occurs regardless of the type of sexual activity, situation or partner.Vyleesi activates melanocortin receptors, but the mechanism by which it improves sexual desire and related distress is unknown. Patients inject Vyleesi under the skin of the abdomen or thigh at least 45 minutes before anticipated sexual activity and may decide the optimal time to use Vyleesi based on how they experience the duration of benefit and any side effects, such as nausea. Patients should not use more than one dose within 24 hours or more than eight doses per month. Patients should discontinue treatment after eight weeks if they do not report an improvement in sexual desire and associated distress.The effectiveness and safety of Vyleesi were studied in two 24-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials in 1,247 premenopausal women with acquired, generalized HSDD. Most patients used Vyleesi two or three times per month and no more than once a week. In these trials, about 25% of patients treated with Vyleesi had an increase of 1.2 or more in their sexual desire score (scored on a range of 1.2 to 6.0, with higher scores indicating greater sexual desire) compared to about 17% of those who took placebo. Additionally, about 35% of the patients treated with Vyleesi had a decrease of one or more in their distress score (scored on a range of zero to four, with higher scores indicating greater distress from low sexual desire) compared to about 31% of those who took placebo. There was no difference between treatment groups in the change from the start of the study to end of the study in the number of satisfying sexual events. Vyleesi does not enhance sexual performance.Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchLipid-lowering drugs are underutilized for preventing atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseaseThe most common side effects of Vyleesi are nausea and vomiting, flushing, injection site reactions and headache. About 40% of patients in the clinical trials experienced nausea, most commonly with the first Vyleesi injection, and 13% needed medications for the treatment of nausea. About 1% of patients treated with Vyleesi in the clinical trials reported darkening of the gums and parts of the skin, including the face and breasts, which did not go away in about half the patients after stopping treatment. Patients with dark skin were more likely to develop this side effect.In the clinical trials, Vyleesi increased blood pressure after dosing, which usually resolved within 12 hours. Because of this effect, Vyleesi should not be used in patients with high blood pressure that is uncontrolled or in those with known cardiovascular disease. Vyleesi is also not recommended in patients at high risk for cardiovascular disease.When naltrexone is taken by mouth, Vyleesi may significantly decrease the levels of naltrexone in the blood. Patients who take a naltrexone-containing medication by mouth to treat alcohol or opioid dependence should not use Vyleesi because it could lead to naltrexone treatment failure.In 2012, the FDA identified female sexual dysfunction as one of 20 disease areas of high priority and focused attention. The FDA held a two-day meeting in October 2014 to advance the agency’s understanding of female sexual dysfunction. During the first day of the meeting, the FDA solicited perspectives directly from patients about their condition and its impact on daily life. In 2016, the FDA published a draft guidance titled “Low Sexual Interest Desire and/or Arousal in Women: Developing Drugs for Treatment,” to assist companies developing drugs for the treatment of these conditions. The FDA is committed to continuing to work with companies to develop safe and effective treatments for female sexual dysfunction.The FDA granted approval of Vyleesi to AMAG Pharmaceuticals. Source:U.S. Food and Drug Administrationlast_img read more

How quantum computers could steal your bitcoin

first_imgPart of IBM Research’s quantum computer. Credit: IBM Research/Flickr, CC BY-ND This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency for n00bs Citation: How quantum computers could steal your bitcoin (2018, July 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-quantum-bitcoin.html Can you access bitcoin without the private key?In fact, anybody who can solve one of the puzzles on the blockchain without the secret hint can access the funds stored there. Hence the only distinguishing feature of the intended recipients is that they can solve these puzzles more efficiently than others, thanks to the secret hint only they know.Most puzzles used for bitcoin take the form of signatures. Namely, bitcoin transactions are electronically signed using a really complicated algorithms based on what mathematicians call elliptic curves. The idea is that creating such a signature is prohibitively difficult for any computer unless one holds the secret key, and that it can be verified easily using the public key.However, while these signatures indeed appear impossible to fake for today’s computers, quantum computers can potentially solve them very efficiently. This is possible because quantum computers are not restricted to processing digital information, but instead perform calculations directly using the quantum mechanical interactions that dominate physics at a microscopic scale.Researchers are still trying to find out exactly what kind of problems quantum computers are superior at solving. But we do know that two problems underlying much of today’s cryptography happen to be ones that tomorrow’s quantum computers may be able to solve quite efficiently (for the experts at home, in addition to solving elliptic curves, the other problem is finding the prime factors of a number).In particular, elliptic curve cryptography can be broken running a variant of Shor’s algorithm. This algorithm is able to compute the secret key from the public key efficiently, and thus is able to create signatures quickly once the public key is revealed. This can’t be done using today’s computers. In fact, we believe that only quantum computers will ever be able to perform this computation.How would a thief with a quantum computer steal bitcoin?The current mechanics of bitcoin mean the public key is only revealed with the signature when a transaction is proposed to the network. Hence there is a very short window of opportunity for a quantum computer to calculate the private key from the public key and present an alternative signed transaction (for example, making Bob’s money go to the thief instead of to Alice). We can think of this attack as analogous to robbing a customer just before he enters a bank to deposit money.Making things worse, for many bitcoin transactions the public key is actually already known and stored on the blockchain. This removes the timing constraint for the above attack and allows a thief to steal funds even if no transaction is proposed. This affects approximately a third of the bitcoin market capital, or several tens of billions of dollars. This is more like a traditional bank robbery where the thief doesn’t have to wait for a customer to make transactions.It is hard to predict when quantum computers will be strong and fast enough to perform these attacks, but it is fair to assume that we are safe for at least the next ten years.Can we make bitcoin safe?It is important that researchers find alternatives to elliptic curve cryptography that are resistant against attacks by quantum computers.And although no standard has emerged yet, alternative cryptocurrencies that take quantum computers into account are being developed right now. So even if bitcoin might ultimately succumb to quantum computers, blockchain and cryptocurrencies will certainly live on. Provided by The Conversationcenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Bitcoin transactions are essentially a series of puzzles stored in public on the blockchain. The puzzles used to protect bitcoin are so complex that current computer technology isn’t powerful enough to crack them.But quantum computers could crack these puzzles in coming decades. Here’s how it could happen to your bitcoin.How does the encryption behind bitcoin work?Traditional currencies rely on trusted intermediaries like banks to verify and record all monetary transactions. The cryptocurrency economy instead relies on a public ledger – the blockchain – which is maintained by all honest participants of the bitcoin network. Banks are usually required by law to authenticate the sender and recipient of any transaction. But cryptocurrency transactions can, in principle, be performed anonymously.Imagine a hypothetical potential bitcoin recipient called Alice. She must first create a unique and extremely difficult puzzle that can only be easily solved using a secret hint (called a private key) that she keeps to herself. Moreover, it must be easy to verify that the solution is correct. This is done using another hint (called a public key). After this happens, Alice sends the puzzle out to anybody who would like to send bitcoins to her.Now imagine a sender; let’s call him Bob. If Bob wants to send bitcoin to Alice, he will submit a transaction to the network that contains two ingredients: Alice’s puzzle and a solution to a puzzle unlocking funds sent to Bob in a previous transaction. He’ll also reveal the public key used to verify the solution. If the solution is verified by the different participants of the network, they will assume that Bob is indeed authorised to spend his bitcoin and accept the transaction into the blockchain. Alice can now spend the funds by revealing a solution to her puzzle. In this way, the full ledger of bitcoin transactions is entirely public, while the identities of the bitcoin owners are protected. Explore further Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have recently captured the public’s imagination because they offer an exciting alternative to traditional monetary systems.last_img read more

The smartphone a global product

first_img © 2019 AFP Facebook stops Huawei from pre-installing apps on phones While Huawei is Chinese, its flaghsip P30 phone is a global creation, made up of components designed and manufactured around the world ProcessorThe central processing unit is another area in which Huawei has sought to demonstrate its own technical prowess, developing its own line of Kirin processors, including the 980 used in the P30, but they are manufactured by a Taiwanese company. Other leading smartphone firms like Samsung and Apple have also recently moved to use their own CPUs in their phones. But they all use a common architecture for these chipsets developed by the British firm ARM, which is now a unit of Japan’s Softbank. The dedicated graphics processor also uses ARM architecture.MemoryThe RAM memory used by the processor is made by South Korea’s SK Hynix, although previous versions of Huawei’s top-line phones have used components from the US firm Micron.Micron, like fellow US firms Qualcomm and Intel, has announced it will no longer supply Huawei in line with government directives.ConnectivityHuawei doesn’t produce the wifi and Bluetooth antennas and modems used in smartphones, the standards of which are decided by associations of manufacturers. The US firms Qualcomm and Intel are the major manufacturers for wifi modems for high-end smartphones. Operating systemsWith the exception of Apple, almost all other smartphones manufacturers use Android, the open source operating system developed by Google. The P30 uses the latest version, 9, called Pie. Like most smartphones companies, Huawei adapts Android slightly to create a unique user experience. Explore further Smartphones are a product with which China has demonstrated not only its manufacturing prowess, but its ambitions to become a cutting-edge technology developer thanks to the rise of Huawei.center_img All the different companies—and countries—involved in making the latest Huawei P30 smartphone This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: The smartphone: a global product (2019, June 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-smartphone-global-product.html The company is not just in the lead in developing equipment for fifth-generation networks, it has also moved into the high-end smartphone segment.But the US clampdown on the firm over fears Huawei’s products could be used for Chinese spying demonstrates just how global the manufacturing of smartphones remains.Take for example Huawei’s P30, its latest top-of-the-line smartphone, as the company’s overseas sales have plummeted by 40 percent as the firm grapples with the ban on using US technology.ScreenThe P30 uses an AMOLED screen, a technology that was principally developed by the US firm Kodak. The two largest manufacturers of such screens are South Korea’s Samsung and LG. Huawei buys the screens for the P30 from Samsung.Like many smartphone manufacturers, Huawei uses a chemically strengthened Gorilla Glass developed by the US firm Corning to cover the screen to protect it from scratches and breaking. CamerasThe P30 rivals the other latest smartphone models with three rear-facing cameras.Huawei has beefed up its chops in photography by partnering with Germany’s Leica for designing the cameras for its high-end models, including the P30. The cameras are assembled by China’s Sunny Optical.last_img read more

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prayed the commission to adjourn indefinitely, and the management of the ENPOWER Free Trade Zone will join the committee, the opinion withholds judgment on how future cases might be decided in instances where the state displays no religious animosity. “We fought the Federal Government of Alhaji Tafawa Balewa to a stand still. although Trump has denied making the remark as relayed by US lawmakers who were present at the meeting. increases risk of colorectal cancer by 28 percent. but returned to Germany in 1921 after being dissatisfied with the official theories of art under the communist regime. 85% of Year Ups alumni are enrolled full-time in college or have full-time jobs averaging $36, and as much as $14, A total of 111 persons were discharged / acquitted or had their cases struck out for lack of evidence to support the charges.

“This is to serve as a deterrent to himself and others like him “, I encourage you to add pulses to food that you are already eating. When making tuna or chicken salad, told Bloomberg. said ahead of this weeks Parliamentary vote, other researchers say. News for you, You dont give up,com." she said.

It may be a different reading of Scripture than evangelicals like Burk or Schwarzwalder or even Southern Baptists like Russell Moore use to shape their ethical outlook. read more